PhD scholarship in Modeling and Event Detection for Flexibility Management in Cyber-Physical Energy Systems

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Ph.d. & forskning
Grønland & Færøerne

Frist 12. februar 2020

Are you curious about the boundary between machine learning and first principle modelling, confident to explore how first-hand expert knowledge can be complemented by automated and statistical reasoning? Then perhaps you are our new PhD student.

The Department of Electrical Engineering invites applicants for 3-years PhD position in the area of event detection and monitoring of flexibility in energy systems. The position is offered in the Energy Systems Operation and Management (ESM) group at the Center for Electric Power and Energy (CEE). We conduct research covering the development and analysis of new solutions for management and operation of future energy systems infrastructure with a high share of renewable energy. Our multi-disciplinary group looks at new ways to couple resources and energy infrastructures, to address systemic challenges facing current and future cyber-physical energy systems. This position is part of an applied and cross-disciplinary research collaboration, with partners in Germany, Sweden and Norway.

Modern energy systems accommodate renewable energy generation with flexibility from various distributed resources. This flexibility needs to be managed and coordinated to balance demand, supply and transmission constraints. The research collaboration will develop a trade mechanism for grid flexibility, as well as the corresponding control and industrial-grade supervision solutions and cyber-security assessments. In this context, the PhD candidate will focus on data-driven state monitoring applications. Sophisticated modelling and monitoring offers opportunities for reliably managing available flexibility, quantifying uncertainty and detecting anomalous events. The PhD project seeks to apply cyber-physical systems modelling, machine learning and statistics to energy systems operation, and results will contribute to the secure operation of renewable energy systems and the understanding of the impact of digitalization on decision support for operators.

Responsibilities and tasks
This PhD project envisions to detect and identify critical events, so that system operators can intervene when anomalous events threaten the operation of the electricity infrastructure. You will develop models and methods enabling to observe operation and detect incoherent and anomalous events, which has applications to state estimation, flexibility monitoring and verification as well as cyber-physical security monitoring. The solutions you develop will be responsive and applicable to the real-world, real-time situation experienced by human operators in the control room.

As part of your PhD project, you will be responsible for

  • deriving models of physical processes involving electricity consumption and production,
  • interpreting and modeling the functional architecture of realistic control software,
  • building and verifying models on data sets from laboratory and field experiments,
  • developing a system for the state monitoring and detection of anomalous events.

Your research could include the development of algorithmic solutions to stream learning problems and detection of statistically rare events using Bayesian probabilistic models. During your participation in the project you will contribute to the development of the flexibility market and the laboratory and field testing of a flexibility control algorithm.

You will be part of the Energy System Management Group, where you will find yourself among multiple PhD students and Senior Researchers working together on energy management problems with a focus on experimental validation of results. You can sharpen your didactics skills through experience as teaching assistant. Your PhD project will result in scientific publications as part of your research training, publish in high-profile journals in your research field, and you will present at international conferences.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

We are looking for a candidate who:

  • has strong competences in statistical methods and mathematical modeling
  • has practical programming experience in Java or Python
  • has a strong interest in the operation of energy infrastructures
  • is innovative, solution-oriented and able to work in cross-disciplinary teams
  • has excellent communication skills in English, both written and spoken
  • can work independently and take responsibility for the progress and quality of projects

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Senior Researcher, Project Lead Kai Heussen and Senior Researcher, Head of Research group Henrik Bindner.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The workplace will be partly at DTU Risø Campus (Roskilde).

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher Kai Heussen, tel.: +45 6139 6263,

You can read more about DTU Electrical Engineering at and about CEE at

Please submit your online application no later than 12 February 2020 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Electrical Engineering educates students within electrical engineering technologies. We offer studies at BEng, BSc, MSc and PhD levels, and participate in joint international programmes. We conduct state-of-the-art research within antenna and microwave technology, robot technology, power and physical electronics, acoustic environment, electro-acoustics, electric power and energy. Our department has more than 200 members of staff.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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Ansøgningsfrist d. 12.02.2020
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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
DTU er et teknisk eliteuniversitet med international rækkevidde og standard. Vores mission er at udvikle og nyttiggøre naturvidenskab og teknisk videnskab til gavn for samfundet. 11.200 studerende uddanner sig her til fremtiden, og 6.000 medarbejdere har hver dag fokus på uddannelse, forskning, myndighedsrådgivning og innovation, som bidrager til øget vækst og velfærd.

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